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Venezuela's CVG Accused of Forcing Workers to Join Militias

Editorial | El Universal

Caracas, 11 May 2005 | Personnel were recruited at Edelca, Vanalum, Ferrominera del Orinoco and Alcasa. National Assemblyman Andrés Velásquez (of La Causa R party) denounced that the authorities at Corporación Venezolana de Guayana (CVG) are attempting to “recruit” personnel who work in basic industry companies in that region in order to integrate them into the battalions of the recently activated reserves to be under direct orders of the Office of the President of the Republic.

At a press conference at the National Assembly headquarters, Velásquez termed "unacceptable" the pressure resulting from communiqués sent to Edelca, Venalum, Ferrominera Orinoco and Alcasa, which seek to push the workers into participating in "the militias", specified the assemblyman.

He placed responsibility directly on Gustavo Pérez Jiménez, director of Human Resources at Edelca, and César Bertoni, president of Ferrominera Orinoco, urging the National Executive to meet its contractual obligations and cease to distribute those information-gathering forms.

For Velásquez, all workers at the service of the State are the most “susceptible to intimidation" under pressure of this kind, as there are already precedents on “how things are done in Venezuela.”

He emphasized that in light of the irregularities committed with the "Tascon List", a worker who is given a form to fill out for joining the reserves will be "standing against the wall. If he should say No, then he will become a relegated worker; he will be marked, he will be execrated and excluded," said the parliamentarian.

The assemblyman from La Causa R party cast responsibility for any possible acts of discrimination upon Hugo Chavez, "who recently ordered Tascon’s List to be buried, but now goes around these basic industry companies in Guayana promoting this pressure tactic of forcing the workers to become a part of the militias."

“This is unacceptable. It can not be that now, by compulsory and forceful means, the government attempts to pressure and intimidate the workers into becoming a part of the militias, into being a part of the reserves, ” Velásquez reiterated emphatically.

Translation by W.K.

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